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Economical System in Civ 5?

Discussion in 'Civ5 - General Discussions' started by Semmel, Apr 22, 2010.

  1. Semmel

    Semmel Large Sid Meiers Collider

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    Has any one seen any information about the economical system in Civ 5? There is so much talk about the war in Civ.. but honestly.. civ is not a war game, its about creating an empire with a heathy economy that can keep up with the AI's economy..

    Im just curios, are there still cottages? Trade routes? Specialists? Is there again an imperical slider or a city based slider system? Are the trees giving hammers again? Will there be such a $R"&)$?%*§#$§ thing like inflation again that eats your economy 2000AD?

    Best regards...
    a wondering Semmel
     
  2. Trias

    Trias Donkey with three behinds

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    Not a word. They might be purposefully holding back this info for a future round of publicity. (E3 in June?)
     
  3. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Either this, or the economy is largely unchanged from previous versions, and they're focusing their innovation on the military system.

    I could see either as being true.

    The economy in Civ works much better than the warfare aspect, so its ok I think for this to get less attention (in terms of design changes).
     
  4. Thyrwyn

    Thyrwyn Guardian at the Gate

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    We must be playing a different game. The trade route mechanics are completely wonky; the player's role in the economy is largely passive; and, in the one aspect over which the player does have control (the trade of resources), the AI does not value them properly.
     
  5. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    The core of the economy is the entire system of population who work tiles that have improvements that increase their yields, and produce food, hammers and commerce. Or can be turned into specialists. And commerce that can get turned into gold or beakers. And buildings that boost these. And happiness, and health mechanics.

    Trade is a relatively minor part of the economy engine. And in my opinion it basically works fine. Nice and passive, no MM requirements.
     
  6. chongli

    chongli Prince

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    Placing value on abstract resources is an incredibly hard AI problem, one that is beyond the scope of a video game and encroaching on academic territory.
     
  7. innonimatu

    innonimatu Deity

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    It's not that bad. I feel that resource trading with the AI works well enough: the AI players sometimes make odd choices or stubbornly refuse to trade, but that's reasonably realistic.

    With the limits on the use of each unit of strategic resource trade will certainly become more important, so I'm expecting that it will be overhauled anyway.
     
  8. Thyrwyn

    Thyrwyn Guardian at the Gate

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    I'm expecting an entirely new engine in Civ 5 - other than the population working tiles aspect, that is. Previous editions did very little well beyond those simple mechanics. My complaint however, is that real world economies are driven by trade.

    The designers knew that other than in-city mechanics the economic system didn't work well - that's why in Civ IV we have all these complicated "behind the screen" mechanisms that affect the national economy: inflation, city maintenance, etc...

    The basic economics of the single city view - tiles/pop/specialists - works; but the economy as a whole - the interaction of cities and nations, trade routes and resources - is weak. I think the game would benefit if the player had some control over those interactions.

    And don't say "The AI doesn't handle those well" - the AI hasn't handled those well in past versions. That has nothing to do with whether or not the AI can handle them in future ones.
     
  9. StMikael

    StMikael Warlord

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    I'd have to agree with Thyrwyn. Large empires such as the British Empire are made possible only by massive trade, and Civ doesn't handle that very well. England usually remains small in Civ. What Civ favors is contiguous nations on large landmasses, such as the USA, where there are plenty of tiles to work.
     
  10. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Civilization has a geography-based view of human history and a technological view, rather than an institutional or cultural one.

    Thus, what matters for development is good land, more than anything else.

    Its hard to devise a trade system that can work and be strategically interesting. If everyone can trade equally, and trade is most of the economy, then terrain becomes relatively less important, and it doesn't really matter anymore.

    You can have economies be based on land (as they were for most of history - particularly early civilization history) or you can try to make economies based on trade, but its very hard to make a system that does both.

    If one is more important, then by definition the other is relatively less important.

    I prefer a system based on land, where there is "good land" and "bad land" rather than one based on trade.
     
  11. Woodreaux

    Woodreaux Prince

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    Trade in [civ4] was minor, before you unlock economics, build the route add-on improvements and restrict your empire to land-locked cities on a single continent. You can largely get away with it if you're playing a Financial leader and spammed tons of :commerce: improvements.

    However, if you build or capture lots of coastal cities (especially as Hannibal) and establish transcontinental foreign trade routes, then those routes can produce :commerce: yields comparable to mature towns (with Free Speech & Printing Press). Trade routes to a target city also provide :espionage: discounts.

    I disagree with the sentiment that trade routes are [civ4] play a small role.
     
  12. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    What is needed, IMO, is a system which gives the player slightly more choice in determining trade routes, without it being bogged down in MM.

    One possible suggestion I heard before is to make the value of trade routes dependent on the resources around a city. If a city has lots of, for example silk, and its radius it will gain a large bonus for its trade routes which are to a city/civ that has no silk. But that still leaves the terrain dependency. A possible alteration is that each city can produce 1 "manufactured good", at the players discretion. Each city would have a choice of 3 or 4 possible manufactured goods depending on the tech level and the land around it. For example a city with a quarry and lots of forest would be able to produce statues, furniture and timber as its manufactured good.
    Trade routes between cities with different manufactured good would provide more commerce, and for each manufactured good a city has access to (through trade) it gains a small production/food/happiness bonus.

    This would leave a bit more room for player choice withotu having too much MM as it is still limited to 1 decision per city. If you want to prevent players MM by switching manufactured good every turn, just have a 10 turn period after switching in which there is a 50% loss on trade routes for that city: it would represent the time it takes for low level production to switch from one thing to another.

    I also think that this adds a bit more flavour to the game by representing trade slightly more realistically. You could also give each Civ a Unique Manufactured Good that would be available at different times during the game to give them an economic (and diplomatic - as people want to trade with them) bonus.
     
  13. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    There is something like this implicitly, as a town with lots of silk will have high commerce yields, and the higher the commerce income of a town the larger are the trade route flows it generates.
     
  14. Craxymaxy

    Craxymaxy Warlord

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    The best trade system i have ever played with would be Gal Civ 2's where a technology lunlocks like 3 trade routes and further technologies unlock more trade routes
     
  15. Shurdus

    Shurdus Am I Napoleon?

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    I see a lot of bla and very little explaining. WHy would it be hard to do a game based on both the quality of land and what civs can trade? Is that inherent to the system of civ, or is that an economic theory that has been discussed outside the scope of civ? If it is a civ only problem then I do not see why it would be difficult to shift the focus a bit more on trading. It should not be that difficult at all, actually.

    Also I see what an economy based on land is in civ. The better the land, the better yield and therefore the more freedom you have to get cottages and other high yield resources. What I do not understand is how in real life an economy is 'based on land.'

    Given the fact that you describe real economies in civ terms - and describe civ as "Civilization has a geography-based view of human history and a technological view, rather than an institutional or cultural one" I think a reality check is in order. You really need to not think of real life as it was civ, or civ as if it mimicks real life. Get some perspective - and some fresh air...
     
  16. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Because what matters is relative value. If economy value is nearly all dependent on land, then the difference between city sites matters a lot.
    But if trade is a major part of the economy, and you can get a high trade value anywhere no matter, then the value of getting good land is less important.

    You can't have everything be important, because importance as a concept is only defined relative to the rest of the model.
    Land is an important factor in determining economy in Civ, because it matters more than other factors.

    To try to give some practical demonstration of what I mean:
    Imagine a version A of civilization. A is the same as Civ4, except that the commerce values from trade are 10x higher.
    What this means is that terrain is relatively less important than in Civ4. The extra +3 commerce or so you get from having some river tiles in your BFC really don't matter, because *any* city can generate 30-40 commerce no matter where it is built. So a river city might have 33-43 commerce, whereas a non-river city might get 30-40 commerce.

    In contrast, consider a version B of civilization. B is the same as Civ4, except that tiles adjacent to rivers give +10 commerce each.
    What this means is that trade is relatively less important than in Civ4. All that really matters in terms of powering your economy is how many river tiles you control.

    This is my point; you have a total economy size, that is driven by a number of factors. What matters in strategic terms is the relative dependence of your total economy size (ie commerce per turn) on the various input factors (trade routes, rivers, bonus resources, etc.)

    Or similarly; imagine version C of Civ4, which was exactly the same as Civ4 except that all tiles yielded an additional 6 food. What this would mean is that food resources like wheat and rice were less valuable, even though they produced the same extra food yield, because food would no longer really be much of a constraint, and you can get high food yields from any tile.

    It is inherent to the design of an economy model, like that in a computer game or any other kind of economy model.

    Think Jared Diamond, and Guns Germs and Steel. He has a geographic view of history. Eurasia became the dominant powers in history (rather than Africa or the Americas or Australia) because they had better natural resources; better climate, better wild crops, better wild animals more suitable for domestication, and so forth. And that it was these advantages that then led to technological advantages, military advantages and allowed them to colonize the world.

    This is say in contrast to an institutional model of economies and history, which might say that Europe became the dominant power because European countries had better political and economic institutions that fostered economic technological development or a "better" religion.

    Or a racial/genetic version of history, which says that Europe became dominant because white people are intrinsically smarter and better than native americans or africans.
    [Obviously this one is wrong and pretty offensive, but many people believed it once upon a time, and a few crazies still do.]

    What I mean is this; when designing a game based on history, you have do decide which view of history you're going to take.
    Civ follows a traditional-land-based model of city formation and civilization. The first cities show up in areas with high agricultural food yields. City growth is driven primarily by food supplies. Different "quality" of land and access to quality bonus resources are major drivers of civilization. Specialists come from having excess food supply, and these are what drive history's Great People.
    Institutions don't matter nearly as much; technology is driven primarily by economic output from land. If you're a civ with a bad land start position or expansion areas, then you're pretty much doomed to be backwards forever.

    Bit patronizing, don't you think?
     
  17. Lascivious

    Lascivious Chieftain

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    Only if economy = trade + land

    Theoretically you could make some funky economic systems such as:

    economy =
    • trade * land
    • trade^land
    • sin(trade) + land^2 + k

    :D
     
  18. Semmel

    Semmel Large Sid Meiers Collider

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    LOL "Hey, I got more comerce, why is my research dropping?"


    Sinus strikes them all!!
     
  19. Olleus

    Olleus Deity

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    Or give the player choice to develop trade or land. That is, if they have good land, then they have a strong economy. If they have have worse lands, they can develop trade and have an almost as good economy, but this takes more investment. You also have to think about the time it takes to set up a good economy and the average rate of return as well as the total rate of return. For example, having specialists in the very early game gives you lots of commerce. Having villages and hamlets gives you little commerce and the start and more as time goes on. Having pyramids and then specialists gives you no commerce at the start (while you build them) but a hell of a lot immediately afterwards. Give it time though, and towns will catch up and overtake you.

    There are more factors to consider than just total commerce at any point in time.
     
  20. Ahriman

    Ahriman Tyrant

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    Doesn't really work. How do you stop them from developing trade even if they have good land, to get an even better economy?
    It doesn't make logical sense to block access to trade boosting buildings just because terrain and bonuses are good.
     

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